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Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air
File:Dream Chronicles 4
Developer(s) KatGames
Publisher(s) PlayFirst
Distributor(s) Various
Director(s) Miguel Tartaj
Producer(s) Ryan Sindledecker
Designer(s) Miguel Tartaj
Programmer(s) David Gonzalez, Miguel Angel Linan
Artist(s) Pablo Vietto, 3dBrigade
Writer(s) Eleanor Burian-Mohr, Pete Clark
Composer(s) Adam Gubman
Series Dream Chronicles
Version 1.0.1.265 (July 8, 2010)
Platform(s) Windows, Mac OS X
Release date(s) June 24, 2010[1] (see release history)
Genre(s) Adventure, hidden object, puzzle
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s)
Media Digital download
System requirements

Windows: XP SP1 & SP2/Vista/7. Processor: Pentium IV 1.2 Ghz processor or faster. 256 MB RAM. 1024 × 768 minimum screen resolution. 166 MB available hard drive space. DirectX 9.0 or higher. A sound card is recommended. Adobe Flash Player 8 or higher. Mac OS X: 10.5 and 10.6. G4 800 MHz or faster processor. 256 MB RAM. 1024 × 768 minimum screen resolution. 166 MB available hard drive space. A sound card is recommended. Adobe Flash Player 8 or higher.

Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air, or Dream Chronicles 4 in some cases, is a casual adventure, hidden object and puzzle computer game developed by KatGames and published by PlayFirst. It's the fourth game of the Dream Chronicles series, the third sequel of the award-winning 2007 video game Dream Chronicles, and also the first game of the second Dream Chronicles trilogy called Lyra's Destiny. This is the first sequel in which players play the part of Lyra, daughter of the previous main heroine of the series, Faye. In the game, Lyra wakes up from a strange dream, and with the help of the Clockmaker, finding her way home through a series of puzzles and locations, such as fixing clocks at the Clockmaker's home and using an airship belonging to her father to fly home.

The Book of Air was first presented as a beta version in March 2010. It was officially released in late June 2010 by PlayFirst. Up to now, unlike 3 previous games, the game has received mixed reviews from game critics, describing it as "a beautiful point-and-click fantasy game that mixes puzzles and slight hidden-object hunting to create a beautiful adventure series"[2] and was somewhat criticized for not matching the highly-polished standards of 3 previous games. But The Book of Air still proved to be commercially successful, reaching the top of 7 major casual game charts.[1] The Book of Air was preceded by The Chosen Child and will be followed by The Book of Water.

Contents

Story

The Book of Air is the first game of the second Dream Chronicles trilogy called Lyra's Destiny, in which the player plays the part of Lyra, Faye's daughter. This game has a light connection with the first trilogy, in which events occur ten years after The Chosen Child.

The day before her 18th birthday, Lyra, a mortal girl, has a strange dream. All her friends and family are present and her grandfather Tangle says he has an amazing gift. But then Lyra hears a whisper and everyone disappears. Lyra stays alone in her beloved town of Wish, trapped in a parallel dimension which is very similar to her own. Guided by the messages left by Tangle and using her father's airship, Lyra is trying to find the Clockmaker, the only person who can help Lyra get back home and reunite with her family and friends. She finally finds the Clockmaker in his hideout, the Crater of Time and thankfully he agrees to help her. Lyra must find 3 keys in 3 separately hidden areas - the Treehouse Village, the Wind Music Island and the Water Collector - to re-activate the Clockmaker's Time Synchronization Machine. On arriving in the Wind Music Island, Lyra is notified that the music eons in this island was once created by fairies who used to live here. Lyra finds her grandfather's notified note confusing but she gradually understands what happens to her is touched by "fairies": the magical chalkboard, the hidden airship, the strange whisper...; not including those powerful powers that Lyra discovers by herself. After finding all 3 keys, Lyra backs to the Crater of Time to finish her mission here and can finally head back to her original dimension with so much questions are yet to be answered. But instead of welcoming Lyra with sunshine, the town of Wish becomes dark and full of thunders. Lyra wonders what will be waiting her next.

In the bonus chapter, Lyra has a new dream. She's in the town of Wish and the family is calling to her. But Lyra can't hear them over the sound of rushing water. Her body becomes light, as if she were floating. Lyra holds her breath and falls deeper into that strangely new dream. She suddenly wakes up in a small office of the Barge City, where she'll start her journey for the second time in the fifth 2011 game, The Book of Water.

Characters

File:Dream Chronicles 4
Tangle is holding a gift and going to give it to Lyra in a The Book of Air cut-scene
For the first time in the Dream Chronicles series, players can hear characters' voices in game. The Book of Air has 3 main characters, which introduces only a minor part of the second trilogy.
  • Lyra is a soon-to-be-18 mortal girl. She's the main protagonist of the game as well as this Lyra's Destiny trilogy. Embarking on the quest for the first time ever, Lyra feels insecure initially. But gradually she gains hopes and faiths, tries her best to get back her home. Lyra doesn't know her fairy root as she still doesn't know who sent her to another dimension at all. With all the mess happens on the day before the 18th birthday, Lyra tries as much as she can to get back home and finds her very own answers to all of this. Lyra hasn't appeared yet as players play as her point of view.
  • Tangle is Lyra's grandfather. He plays as Lyra's guide through notes. Tangle is the Fairy King of Knowledge and keeps that secret from Lyra. But he's still very close to his granddaughter, often making toys to gift her. Tangle only appears at the beginning of game.
  • The Clockmaker, Tangle's friend, the only person who can help Lyra turn back home. He lives in a remote area called "Crater of Time" to control the time of both fairy and mortal world. Obsessing with his eternal job, the Clockmaker never leaves the Crater of Time and tries to prevent any person from coming to his hideout. He doesn't like Lyra's father Fidget because he thinks Fidget tries to be "smarter" than him. The Clockmaker doesn't appear in person but players can only hear his voice in game.

Gameplay

Awem Studio described the gameplay: "Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air gameplay is more of a quest-like adventure than a traditional hidden object game. There are no lists of items to find but a huge amount of inventory based puzzles, logical riddles and quests to solve."[3]

File:Dream Chronicles 4 Streets of
The Streets of Wish, where Lyra starts her own journey to get back the original dimension in The Book of Air
Players as Lyra have to solve all of the puzzles that have been scattered through the locations in game in order to help her to get back home.[3] The objects that players find may be used in a scene other than the one they found it in. Objects will stay in inventory until players need to use them. All objects that players are able to pick up will serve a purpose, whether they are used in that scene or not. A lot of times in this game the pieces players pick up may only be used as they get to the next scene. Some items may not become visible in a scene right away, players must perform other tasks first before they become visible. Primarily, The Book of Air is a puzzle game.[2]

Puzzles and quest are well-tricky and tightly blended with the story which is a typical feature of quest or click-and-point games, such as: put together parts of broken statues, reconstruct tricky mechanisms and unscramble messages using the power of Dream Jewels and many more.[3] Unlike previous games of the series, Dream Jewels come with 5 special powers. Now they can be used to make some fairy things visible, transmute gold into wood, illuminate dark rooms and more. In order to activate Dream Jewels, players need to fill them with Dream Pieces which are thrown throughout the locations. Another notable feature is a system of hints for locating difficult items. Now plays can use ‘hint power’ to locate items they can pick up. But if there aren’t any, the power of hints is not used.[3]

In this time, for the first time in the Dream Chronicles series, players can easily travel among 16 exquisite scenes and 5 areas of The Book of Air by using the Fidget's airship.

There are two difficulty modes to play, Casual and Challenge. Each mode has the same puzzles but their complexities are different. At the beginning, the game offers players the option to play in either Casual or Challenge Mode, and if they want the game to offer the slightest bit of resistance they'd pick the former. While Casual Mode offers simpler puzzles and the ability to skip them if players get stuck long enough, Challenge Mode offers slightly harder puzzles, but won't let players skip any. Players can't change the difficulty once they've chosen it.[2]

One of the biggest improvements The Book of Air has over its predecessors is its hint system. Although it's still possible to get hung up on some of the game's more taxing brainteasers, players will no longer find themselves stuck trying to find items thanks to a recharging magnifying glass that can be used to reveal an object's location. Players can also use it to find Dream Jewels.[4]

As usual, at the end, players earn a score. How quick players can solve the puzzles and complete the game, the quantities of Dream Pieces that players can find, times players skip the puzzles will all determine their final score.

Development

The Book of Air was first presented as a beta version in March 2010 for limited beta players. On March 24, Awem Studio posted the very first preview of game on their website.[3]

  • On June 2, the first sneak peek of The Book of Air, including 2 artworks named "Airship" and "Streets of Wish", was released on Inside PlayFirst. Pablo Vietto, KatGames' art director commented on the "Streets of Wish" artwork: "I wanted to make a very rustic and compact interior where we could place everything necessary for the navigation of the airship. The artistic inspiration came from the old machines designed by Da Vinci and used in the Jules Verne stories, but adapted to our own style. My favorite part of this scene is the metallic work of the chimney. [...] I wanted to keep the essence of the Wish village from the first Dream [Chronicles], respecting the roofs and cupules in green tonalities. I love the cupules. The idea of having a house with a cupule for a roof was in my mind since the first Dream Chronicles, so this was the perfect opportunity to use it. Some other details, like the iron works and lights, were inspired by works done by Hector Guimard, a French architect and one of the most important ones for me during Modernism."[5] This "Streets of Wish" artwork can be seen in the 'Gameplay' section of this article.
  • File:Dream Chronicles 4 Wind Music
    The Wind Music Island is inspired by the work of Antonio Gaudi, who is famous for his unique Art Nouveau designs
    On June 9, the teaser trailer and game preview was both released on Gamezebo.[6] On next day, the release date was finally revealed. It will be released as a collector's edition and as a standard edition. The collector's edition contains an extra location, 7 mini-puzzles, some artworks, a soundtrack pack, a in-game walkthrough, a PC screensaver, 6 1600x1200 wallpapers and a sneak peek of the fifth 2011 game, The Book of Water.[7]
  • On June 15, the whole new interactive map was linked on the Dream Chronicles official homepage. With clicking on notable spots on the map, now players can get the overviews of all important places which have appeared in the Dream Chronicles series.[8]
  • On June 22, the second sneak peek, containing 3 artworks named "Wind Music Island", "Wind Music Island Cave" and "Water Collector", was revealed on Inside PlayFirst. Pablo Vietto, KatGames' art director returned to talk about the in-game artworks. Talking about the Wind Music Island artwork, Vietto said: "We needed an extravagant scenario showing antique constructions made with rocks and natural things around, like coral. Part of the spaces and forms were inspired by the Güell park from Antonio Gaudí. The sculptures and instruments resulted from a combination of the natural forms coming from coral, other sea elements and the figure of a woman (which is always present in our style)."[9]
  • On June 24, there was another Inside PlayFirst's interview with game producer Ryan Sindledecker. Ryan give players an in depth look at The Book of Air. Taking about coming up with the new features, he said: "The developer, Kat Games, came up with all the new features, including using Dream Jewels as powers. With each Dream Chronicles game, Dream Jewels were used differently. In The Book of Air there was a need to add these powers and a need to have a new use for the Jewels and they just fit together perfectly."[10]
  • On June 30, the Dream Chronicles airship ride's celebration event was posted. To celebrate the official launch of The Book of Air Collector's Edition, PlayFirst hosted 7 members of the media, 3 of their local Dream Chronicles fans, their CEO Mari Baker, and senior product marketing Manager Becky Ann Hughes on a real airship ride over San Francisco.[11]
  • On July 9, after the official release of standard edition, game producer Ryan Sindledecker uploaded the special game team's walkthrough.[12] This is the final PlayFirst's blog post about The Book of Air.

Reception

It was officially first released as a collector's edition on June 24, 2010 by PlayFirst[1][7] and promoted: "The Dream Chronicles series has earned a reputation for its stunning art, extraordinary puzzles, and intricate, evolving storylines [...] With Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air, these hallmarks of the series are taken to new heights, with the addition of features that will delight both the casual and expert player. Fans will not believe where the story of this new trilogy takes them."[13] The game was another commercially successful Dream Chronicles game, peaking at number one on many casual game charts, like PlayFirst, Big Fish Games, iWin.com, SpinTop Games, GameHouse; reaching number four at Amazon.com... and more.[14][15] But unlike three previous Dream Chronicles games, up to now, The Book of Air has earned some lukewarm reviews from game critics and casual gamers. Positive reviews praised its Dream Chronicles-trademarked high-quality production values and well-tricky gameplay[2][3] while negative reviews criticized its very short length (only 16 scenes to explore, which is even shorter than the original Dream Chronicles) and some repetitious puzzles like collapse-style fuel puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, placing gears...[4] The Book of Air standard edition was finally released on July 8, 2010.[16]

 Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
Gamezebo [4]
Jay Is Games [2]
Awem Studio Positive[3]

Awem Studio soon had their own thoughts in The Book of Air game preview: "Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air game surrounds you by mysteries and enigmas of the dreamy world. It has its unique and exceptional atmosphere which is typical only to Dream Chronicles games, polished graphics and enchanting music. Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air fantastic locations and fairy tale scenery carry you away to the magical world of Dreams!"[3]

Gamezebo's Erin Bell praised the production value of The Book of Air: "Animated sequences and highly detailed environments make the game easy on the eye, and the character voice-overs and pleasant soundtrack round out the high production values that we've come to expect from a Dream Chronicles game." But mostly in her review, she cited many weak spots of this installment: "The Book of Air lacks some of the "wow" factor of previous games in the series. Most of the mini-games are variations on things we've seen dozens of times before [...] The story ultimately falls a bit flat as well, perhaps because instead of dealing with meddling fairies and their interfering magic, you're simply searching for a bunch of keys. The Book of Air is still an enjoyable casual adventure/HOG, but compared to the high standards set by previous games in the series, it comes up a little short. Let's hope that Lyra's next adventure is a more memorable one." and gave it 3.5/5.0 stars.[4]

Meanwhile, DoraDoraBoBora, a Jay Is Games editor described: "Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air is the first installment in a planned trilogy, and a beautiful point-and-click fantasy game that mixes puzzles and slight hidden-object hunting to create a beautiful adventure series that might not pose too great of a challenge to some players, but is still a captivating experience while it lasts. [...] Visually the game is striking, and wandering through it feels appropriately dreamlike." But like Gamezebo's Erin Bell, Dora noted some weak spots of The Book of Air: "It seems like the whole point of this installment is to set the stage for the next; there are a lot of hints and whispers that point out something big on the horizon, but The Book of Air mostly just sends you from place to place solving puzzles. After a while, it starts to feel more like a virtual tour of the world as you fly from place to place, some stranger and more interesting than others. [...] If you've been champing at the bit for another foray into the Dream Chronicles world, you might be disappointed by how quickly the game is over."[2]

Sequels

Before the game was to be released, there's an official announcement that The Book of Air will have 2 direct sequels, The Book of Water and The Book of Fire, which will be both released in 2011 separately.[8] A sneak peek of The Book of Water, actually some artworks, can be shown in the bonus chapter of The Book of Air.

General tips

  • The game can be played in Casual Mode or Challenge Mode. Puzzles are more difficult on Challenge Mode and cannot be skipped. On Casual Mode, puzzles can be skipped after one minute has passed.
  • Dream Jewel slots at the left side of the screen can be filled with Dream Pieces, which can be found in many areas of the game. Enough Dream Pieces enables a new spell, required to perform tasks in the game.
  • The default mouse cursor in the game is the yellow arrow. White text will appear over objects that can be examined more closely or picked up when you move your cursor around the screen. The cursor will change to a white directional arrow when a new area can be accessed.
  • Collectable items will be added to the inventory window at the bottom of the screen. Clicking on an item in the inventory window and selecting an object in the playing area to use the inventory item.
  • The Dream Journal shows a description of all the events that have happened in the game so far, as well as all of Tangle's notes that have been found. The current goal to complete is displayed in red text. The journal also has a 'Dream' tab page which gives a description of all 6 Dream Jewels.[12]

Release history and charts

The Book of Air collector's and standard edition can be bought at 19.95$ and 6.99$ respectively.

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Release history

Retailer(s) Release date(s) Format and edition(s)
PlayFirst June 24, 2010[1] Digital download, collector's edition
Big Fish Games June 25, 2010[1]
Big Fish Games (Mac)
WildGames July 28, 2010[1]
iWin.com July 29, 2010[1]
Amazon.com

/ Reflexive Arcade

August 4, 2010[1]
SpinTop Games August 5, 2010[1]
Mac Game Store
Pogo.com August 10, 2010[1]
PlayFirst July 8, 2010[16] Digital download, standard edition
Big Fish Games July 9, 2010[16]
Big Fish Games (Mac)
GameHouse (Mac) August 4, 2010[16]
Amazon.com August 9, 2010[16]
GameHouse

/ RealArcade

August 10, 2010[16]
iWin.com
Shockwave
Oberon Games

/ I-play Games

August 11, 2010[16]
MSN Games August 17, 2010[16]

Charts

Chart(s) Peak position
Amazon.com Bestsellers in Game Downloads[15] 4
Big Fish Games Top 100 Mac Games[14] 1
Big Fish Games Top 100 PC Games[14] 1
GameHouse Mac Top Games[15] 2
GameHouse Top 100 Games[15] 1
iWin.com Top 100 Games[14] 1
Mac Game Store Bestsellers[14] 4
MSN Games Top Download Games[15] 1
PlayFirst Top 100 Games[14] 1
Pogo.com Hot Sellers[14] 2
Pogo.com Top Downloads[14] 1
Shockwave Top Download Games[15] 5
SpinTop Games Top 10 Games[14] 1
WildGames Most Popular Games[14] 5
Yahoo! Games Featured Downloads[15] 3
Yahoo! Games Top Downloadable Games[15] 8

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j CasualCharts.com (2010-06-24). "Dream Chronicles - The Book of Air Collectors Edition Detail". CasualCharts.com. http://www.casualcharts.com/games/detail/dreamchroniclesbookofaircollectorsedition.html. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f JayIsGames (2010-06-25). "Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air". JayIsGames. http://jayisgames.com/archives/2010/06/dream_chronicles_4_the_book_of_air.php. Retrieved 2010-06-25. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Awem.com (2010-03-24). "Dream Chronicles The Book of Air. Game Preview". Awem.com. http://www.awem.com/reviews/dream-chronicles-the-book-of-air.-game-preview.html. Retrieved 2010-03-24. 
  4. ^ a b c d Gamezebo (2010-06-24). "Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air Review". Gamezebo. http://www.gamezebo.com/download-games/dream-chronicles-book-air/review. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  5. ^ PlayFirst (2010-06-02). "Sneak peek at Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air art". PlayFirst. http://blog.playfirst.com/2010/06/sneak-peek-dream-chronicles-book-air-art/. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  6. ^ Gamezebo (2010-06-09). "Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air teaser trailer". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0PJxcJf0O0. Retrieved 2010-06-09. 
  7. ^ a b PlayFirst (2010-06-10). "Official Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air trailer and release date". PlayFirst. http://blog.playfirst.com/2010/06/official-dream-chronicles-book-air-trailer-release-date/. Retrieved 2010-06-10. 
  8. ^ a b PlayFirst (2009-03-01). "Dream Chronicles Home". PlayFirst. http://www.playfirst.com/dream-chronicles. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  9. ^ PlayFirst (2010-06-22). "Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air concept art". PlayFirst. http://blog.playfirst.com/2010/06/dream-chronicles-book-air-concept-art/. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  10. ^ PlayFirst (2010-06-24). "Special early release of Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air! Meet the producer!". PlayFirst. http://blog.playfirst.com/2010/06/dream-chronicles-4-the-book-air-early-release/. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  11. ^ PlayFirst (2010-06-30). "Dream Chronicles airship ride". PlayFirst. http://blog.playfirst.com/2010/06/dream-chronicles-airship-ride/. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  12. ^ a b PlayFirst (2010-07-09). "Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air Walkthrough". PlayFirst. http://blog.playfirst.com/2010/07/dream-chronicles-book-air-walkthrough/. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  13. ^ PlayFirst (2010-06-24). "PlayFirst Opens a New Trilogy with the Launch of Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air". PlayFirst. http://www.playfirst.com/about/news/dream-chronicles-book-of-air.html. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j CasualCharts.com (2010-06-24). "Dream Chronicles - The Book of Air Collectors Edition Charts". CasualCharts.com. http://www.casualcharts.com/games/detail/dreamchroniclesbookofaircollectorsedition.html. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h CasualCharts.com (2010-07-08). "Dream Chronicles - The Book of Air Charts". CasualCharts.com. http://www.casualcharts.com/games/detail/dreamchroniclesbookofair.html. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h CasualCharts.com (2010-07-08). "Dream Chronicles - The Book of Air Detail". CasualCharts.com. http://www.casualcharts.com/games/detail/dreamchroniclesbookofair.html. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 

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